For Immediate Release
CIEL Response to US Supreme Court’s Rejection of ExxonMobil’s Appeal to Block MA Attorney General Consumer Protection Probe
WASHINGTON - Today, the US Supreme Court rejected ExxonMobil’s appeal to block Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s probe into what Exxon knew about the role of fossil fuels in driving climate change. The court holds that Healey has the jurisdiction to seek records and move forward with the investigation.
In response, CIEL President Carroll Muffett issued the following statement:
Exxon has fought this investigation all the way to the Supreme Court and has lost at every stage. Today’s decision means Exxon is out of options and out of time in its fight to keep these documents from public light.
The millions of pages of documents Exxon was compelled to turn over in the New York investigation evidenced widespread malfeasance reaching the highest levels of the company, and they led the New York Attorney General to sue the company on multiple counts of securities fraud.
The Massachusetts investigation poses an even bigger risk for the company because the pool of Exxon’s potential victims includes not only seven million citizens and consumers in Massachusetts, but also untold tens of millions more living in states with nearly identical consumer protection laws.
For the past three years, Exxon and other big oil companies have deployed every conceivable procedural maneuver to block these investigations and the ensuing litigation from moving to the merits. Today’s decision is the latest evidence that this strategy is doomed to fail.
Happy New Year, Exxon!
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Since 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has worked to strengthen and use international law and institutions to protect the environment, promote human health, and ensure a just and sustainable society.